Facebook Targeted for Presenting VR Shooter in Wake of Deadly Florida Spree

Facebook apologizes for virtual shooting game demo at CPAC

Greg Nash

Facebook said it had removed all violent games from the demo Friday. The event sparked national outrage and reignited demands for the US government to ban the sale of rapid-fire weapons designed for killing people.

Hugo Berra, Facebook's vice president of virtual reality, apologized in a statement and said that the company would remove the game from its demo. A few of the action games can include violence. "We removed the demo & regret failing to do so at the start. We regret that we failed to do so in the first place", he said in a statement to the Guardian. A video snippet of virtual, first-person gun wielding was posted on Twitter. Developed by Epic Games, the experience is now available for free on Facebook's Oculus Rift.

"Y$3 ou can physically interact with an array of weapons, from guns to grenades to missiles, and even feel them through haptic feedback", according to a description of the title on the Oculus site.

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The social media company, which has since removed the demonstration game and expressed "regret", was already facing scrutiny for attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a high-profile event that featured speeches attacking gun control advocates and a renewed call from Donald Trump to arm school teachers.

"I've been waiting for one last straw before closing my Facebook account".

The Facebook booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) near Washington gave attendees opportunities to try Oculus experiences.

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Facebook also came under fire this week for promoting videos espouding unfounded conspiracy theories related to the shooting, including the unsubstantiated claim that at least some of the survivors were paid "crisis actors".

Kira Lerner, a reporter at ThinkProgress, tweeted that Facebook representatives at the booth were instructed not to talk about the conspiracies swirling around the Parkland shooting on Facebook. "Our presence allows us to share information about our products as well as facilitate a dialogue in which people can share their views and create content to engage their audiences".

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